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Promiscuity in Zimbabwe: any near solution to it?

01 Jun 2015 at 13:33hrs | Views

Sibusisiwe: Well this is the only job I can do, sell at the market.  At least you have a husband, if you cannot get any sales there is a second income, a backup income. You are not left on your own to deal with many uncertainties that we single women face.

Kudzanai: the man you are talking about right now is at the small house in town. He is being looked after by a young woman with his child and most of the money goes to support this young woman in town at the flat.

Sibusisiwe: Are you serious? You know all this information about your husband and you don't do anything about it.

Kudzanai: What do you want me to do? Embarrass myself by fighting the poor woman? I do not do that my dear. I have spoken to my husband many times about his infidelity and if he thinks he wants to have the other woman, fine with me, I do not want to get blood pressure about that arrangement at all, my dear.

Sibusisiwe: It would appear as if you have given up in life, dear.

Kudzanai: Sure I have not given up in life at all. I ask myself one question; what would fighting a young girl bring? These small houses are houses of young girls who really have calculated how to take the husband from a set-up family. It is the way they are going to survive the downturn. How do you fight a girl who has calculated so much, and you do not even know what they talked about together with my husband? What did my husband say to get this young woman as an alternative to me?  I always imagine that this girl may have been told about the private life I have lived with my husband and hence my husband feels he should now switch off from me to her. Sure there is some deficit in me sexually or otherwise to be replaced by a younger choice. How do you fight that, on what basis?  What would legitimatize me to physically fight her, what if she is strong enough to overcome me? My answer to this is; let me lose this husband and retain my dignity period. I do not wish to be part of a love triangle either.

He will get all his emotional needs from this girl. He comes to my house as father and nothing beyond that. I do not allow him to enter my bedroom. By so doing I retain my honour and dignity, and I will allow him to do what he wants with this young alternative. I protect myself from some eventual sexually-transmitted diseases that usually circulate in love triangles. There is a lot of life outside the life of a man who cheats you. You can actually live longer because you are not asking yourself all the time, am I now HIV positive or not? I have hated this state of not knowing if I have succumbed to this disease or not so the day I was told by the medical authority where I went for testing that I am indeed negative. I told myself never again with the man called husband and father to my children. How many innocent married women have died of this disease, how many men have had these extra marital relationships that brought illness in the home and transmitted it to their innocent wives? Sex is not everything in life my dear, you can live very well without sex. If living without sex is a problem, then you should know you are in trouble, HIV is prevalent and it does not choose who, you can get it easily if your husband is cheating. There are many other sexually-transmitted diseases that I do not want to suffer from. Think about Human Papiloma Virus, think about Hepatitis all of the A, B, C, well the alphabet goes on. Do not suffer from these diseases for nothing.  

Sibusisiwe: What these girls need is for us to organize ourselves and go to these flats in town and give them a good hiding that they will never forget in their lives. Only then can they stop moving around with married men.

Kudzanai: They would never stop. You would be the fool after that because the husband will go away for a week without coming home just to fix you up. I have seen such episodes before, I do not want such an experience on me in how ever way. This is going to tear your soul for nothing, you would be kicking and screaming shouting insults at this young woman giving all signs that you are indeed very frustrated. Not with me! It's best I lost than fight for a cheating man. I do not know how many times I have felt like telling him to pack his clothes and leave the home altogether. I would manage better without him. His coming and going disturbs my children so much. It gives them false hope that perhaps the father has come to stay, in two days he is gone for a week and two. Here is a man who does not even think about the precedent he is giving to the children of his own.
Sibusisiwe: Why do men cheat? What worries most is that the men cheat openly, they make it obvious to the wife that he has another one outside there for him and he would expect the wife to condone it.

Kudzanai: This kind of behavior starts at childhood, a boy is brought up pampered as a semi-god by the father and they are taught never to cry because crying is feminine. This obvious preference of boys in the family in regards to a girl puts the girl at a great disadvantage. It is the mothers who bring up these young boys to be masculine, not adhering to the mother because the mother is inferior in the home, they would listen to the father only.  If the father had two to six wives, the son would emulate this and he would feel he is entitled to have more than one wife, legal or not. This sense of entitlement of men, fathers, brothers, uncles, has to be addressed. The other reason obviously is that it is very fashionable to have some younger woman somewhere for him to pop up anytime and have this casual sex that he would value more what he get from a matrimonial home. A man needs that extra, let's put it more precisely an Africa man would need yet another woman to feel he indeed is a man. Blame has to be given to women how we bring up these boy children. Boys are brought up differently from girls by their mothers. Did you hear it correctly, it is the mothers who are to blame for the chauvinistic upbringing of these men. Fathers do not bring up children in African setups.

Just when they were talking a friend came in to join them. It was a woman from Ghana who has lived in Rhodesia for a long time. She was finding Rhodesia to be her adopted home.

Daughter Abna:  How are you, my sisters?

Sibusisiwe and Kudzanai: we are fine dear if you are also fine.

Abna: Eyi,  you look so sad oh! What is the matter, are you ill?

Kudzanai: Nothing!

Abna: There is nothing like nothing oh. What's wrong! Is it your husband again, going out with these young girls oh? I told you long back you would suffer from heart attack one day and you would leave your beautiful children behind, suffering. I told you that African men are all the same be it Ghana or Rhodesia, an Africa man is an African man and he would never change. They want more all the time. More, more, more. Are you going to prevent them from wanting more? Leave them alone, there is nothing you can do with these men. They behave as if they are all born of the same mother, I tell you. Sometimes I think you African women you start thinking like White women too. Who told you that an African man should have one wife, a White man? You African women you create these problems for yourselves. If the tradition says a man should have more why do you get blood pressure because of that? Look at your face it's all sad, what for, for a man? It's not worth it. Me, I enjoy myself and I forget the man. You give a lot of attention to these men and that is the reason why they behave so funny. If you leave them alone and do your own job in the market, take your children to school, do not ask for his money. They will become sober. The trick is doing something to generate money in the home and just forget there is a man called father in the home. He would start panicking on his own because he will start defining himself in the home, would find himself not fitting in because you have empowered yourself so much.

Kudzanai: What about coming into my bedroom asking for those rights that belong to him? What would you do?

Abna: Ah! Is that a problem? It has never been a problem to me. I tell him to go away, I am tired from the market. If you don't depend from his money, it works. He would never force you as you are independent from him. All women need to do is to sit down and ask themselves what they want. I am very well prepared, if my husband told me he is going to marry two other women, I would tell him to go ahead. I would just pray to God I remain healthy and work for myself and look after my children.

Kudzanai: Well, Sibusisiwe was suggesting going to beat these young girls in these flats where they are keeping our men.

Abna, Sibusisiwe, Kudzanai:  They all laugh very loud reminiscent with the market women laughing, attracting more women to join the talking. Suddenly they were seven women at the hot topic.

Market woman:  I think Sibusisiwe is right, these girls must be beaten and they should learn big time lessons and they would think twice about harboring a married man in a flat. They should be kept in constant fear of being beaten up seriously.

Abna: I would never advise any friend of mine to do it. Well try it and tell me how it happened when you have done it. For one, you should know that they are prepared for such violence.

Market woman: It is worth it. Let's organize ourselves and we go and bash her, we should be more than five to six women. We must make sure we do not beat her to harm her so that we are not criminalized in the whole process we want to scare her more than to harm her.

Abna: Then you would achieve nothing, scaring her alone. Ask yourselves a simple question: is this man you are going to fight for, six of you, worth it? There are so many better things to do here at the market than chasing a man who wants more. What if you landed in the hands of the police and you are charged with premeditated assault on her? You would have to pay with the little money you would have worked for very hard at the market to get. That money should go to the children and not spent fighting for a man who is not at home because he is at the flat with a young girl wanting more! In my case, I do not think I value any relationship with my man. He goes his way, I go to the market to make money and feed my children. I send them to good schools. Seeing them growing, I feel good just seeing them having enough food, enough clothes. They are very happy. I enjoy that satisfaction in as much as another woman enjoys sex in bed with a man. When a woman gets sexual frenzy with a man, I get my sexual frenzy (orga-sm) seeing everything I hope for working in the home, plenty of food, best schools for my children, happy children therefore a happy home, my big car. Then I am in my element, then I tell myself oh I am really at it now. My life is my children and not a cheating man. I beg to differ with you girls. I was born in a big family, my father had six wives, I do not see anything wrong in a man having up to ten wives. You cannot monitor your husband's genitals successfully. Why should they be yours alone? Let him distribute them, they are his anyway. Who told you they can shrink if he gives them on many women? Even if they shrank, it is his problem. I am done with him, he gave me children, four beautiful children so what is my problem there. I would suffer from any other disease but not high blood pressure I tell you. I never saw my mother behaving like a mad woman because of my father marrying yet another young woman.

Stories of promiscuity, love potions and traditional healers by Peter Matika 06 July 2014, Bulawayo 24 Promiscuity like  prostitution is as old as the human race itself. These are two moral ills that society has always tried to find ways to abort yet they still remain. The moral ills have seen a puzzling upsurge in the number of divorce cases and have led many couples to seek the services of traditional healers, all in a desperate bid to save their unions from collapsing. In a week-long survey by Sunday Leisure, in an endeavour to untangle this trending perplexity of promiscuity, ‘‘locking'' and love potions, it was discovered that it was mostly women who seek the services of traditional healers, as it was the quickest and easiest method to stop their spouses from philandering. In a series of interviews with stakeholders of society, particularly churches, traditional healers and the elderly folk, it was noted that the reason people resorted to seeking such services was that they had lost touch with tradition and faith. "Back in the day it was taboo for people, regardless of gender to go out in search of herbs and traditional healers to solve promiscuity. Polygamous marriages were common, most of us came from such families and surprisingly we all got along. Nowadays, perhaps because of this issue of Westernisation people have lost touch with their traditions and culture. Even in the Bible you would read about polygamous marriages," said one elderly lady from Makhokhoba suburb who requested anonymity. She added that young women of today lack the qualities of being good wives and taking care of their husbands and have resorted to cunning and sneaky methods in an effort to cover up their bedroom deficiencies.

"These young women think they know it all yet they don't. Men have always been known to have mistresses or several wives. It is an inevitable phenomenon and characteristic which can never be changed. As young women we were taught to accept it and we found it very normal to have more than one mother, as we came from such upbringings," she said. She said all women needed to save their marriages adding that this could only be achieved by taking good care of their husbands and behaving in the manner they used to while they were still dating. "It's all about keeping the spark alive. If you were able to warm bathing water for your man, give him a well-cooked and warm meal then what stopped you from doing so? Men are very easy-going creatures and are easily enticed by such trivial things. Turning to using such black magic is a little bit too out of the ordinary and it has repercussions. It is not good at all to be going to such extents of locking one another or whatever you call it. It is pure witchcraft and once you do it you are an advocate of the devil," she said. Another traditional healer based in Makhokhoba, said locking was a phenomenon that was too much out of the ordinary but many people had resorted to using it as a method to save their marriages. "Locking is too much of a harsh method to use, what if the person that locks these people dies then what do they do?" asked Mr Johannes Msipa. A pastor from a Pentecostal church, said people should be encouraged to pray as only God was able to change a person's . "Of course promiscuity has been and would always be a problem in relationships. It is one phenomenon that we would never understand. Even in the Bible it was there and it is a curse that is there to stay. There is one prayer that is common among the many women that congregate at my church and those that seek assistance through prayer, is that of preventing their husbands from philandering. Many have even confessed to seeking assistance from traditional healers but in most cases nothing would change," he said. Since the discovery of Samanyika who has become somewhat of a celebrity, women, particularly those in their early 20s to late 30s, have thronged the Sunday News offices in search of the healer's address and phone number. Some, who have been interviewed, said they didn't care about the consequences of locking as long as they kept their husbands and boyfriends to themselves. "My husband had a girlfriend who got him locked and since then the spark in our love and sex life has dwindled. I really need to see this man so that he may at least give me something to reignite the fire my husband and I once had," said a woman from Harare. ]

All those women in my father's home coexisted so well. My mother told herself she is hut number four. You follow these White people's traditions too much and that is why you are so unhappy like that. Tell yourself, aha my husband needs more, then let him get it and leave me alone. You would be able to look after your children better than chasing a cheating man.

Market woman: I know dear, I was just talking. You cannot defeat those girls in the flats. They are prepared for those encounters already. You can even get very hurt if you confronted them in their territory. The best thing is to leave them one day it would dawn on them that what they are doing is wrong. They don't work most of them. They literally wait for the men to give them money. It is not sustainable life practice. We have to teach our children to be self-reliant and not to depend on another person.

Another market woman: Is there anything better to talk about besides men and their infidelity? We occupy our minds too much with these men and give them the elevation they do not deserve. What we can still do is to teach our children to be better husbands

Kudzanai: Exactly, this is what I was saying to Sibusisiwe before Abna came, we need to bring up our boy children the way we want our husbands should be like, not to bring up male chauvinists who are going to be a problem to our daughters-in-law again. Mistakes were done by our mothers who brought up these children differently from girls.

Another market woman: Now you are talking. We need some new thinking in a new generation. We need to define values and virtues and impart them to our children. It is never too late at all. We should remember all the time that it is we women who make these people tick. We need some kind of document, some guideline that would always be a reference as to how we wish our children to be like when they are grown-ups. This document should come from us women of color. I have a strong feeling that we can learn a lot from other cultures too. We cannot just say White culture is bad, Black culture is good. We cannot afford this kind of thinking in a changing environment like we are in today. Religion has become a culture in our lives. We have colonial values too that we subconsciously took into our culture as ours as well. Those are facts. I think this is what makes us get confused in the process. We are just a mixed up generation. If we do not know how to write we shall ask these young people to write some document, some women's manifesto for our land that would be seen as some guideline by women in this country.

It is time up, the market is closing, the women disperse to their various places and homes, all laughing at the market discussions they had.


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